Melioidosis Mimicking Tuberculosis in an Endemic Zone mimics tuberculosis [2]. Therefore, it is...

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  • SM Journal of Infectious Diseases

    How to cite this article Adhikary P, Selim S, Uddin N, Biswas S, Basher A, Mahmoud H, et al. Melioidosis Mimicking Tuberculosis in an Endemic Zone. SM Journal of Infect Dis. 2016; 1(1): 1002.OPEN ACCESS

    Introduction Melioidosis is a clinical disease caused by the soil and water saprophytic bacteria named

    B.pseudomallei [1]. It is endemic in South-East Asia and Northern Australia [2]. It occurs in humans as well as in a wide variety of animals [3]. Infection occurs by inoculation through minute skin abrasions or by inhalation, especially in people who have direct contact with wet soil or surface water along with underlying predisposing factors such as diabetes mellitus (most common), alcohol intake, chronic renal or lung disease or immunosuppression [4].

    Clinical presentation may be acute, subacute or chronic. Melioidosis can also present as a rapidly fatal septicemic illness. In chronic form, melioidosis can involve the lung, bones, joints, liver, spleen, lymph nodes, myocardium, brain and skin, thus simulating a variety of diseases, including cryptic tuberculosis [5]. It has been rightly referred to as the ‘remarkable imitator’ and ‘the mimicker of maladies’ by various authors [6]. Bangladesh is endemic for TB and patients are often presumptively treated for TB on the basis of clinical suspicion or radiological, haematological or cytopathological reports, even in the absence of a positive Acid-Fast Bacilli (AFB) smear and/or culture [7,8]. This present case was diagnosed as melioidosis at a tertiary care hospital in Dhaka city.

    Case Presentation A 35 years old diabetic male had been working in forest department presented with longstanding

    fever with variable duration that was as high as 1050F and intermittent in nature. About five month back he had a history of parietal abscess over the left loin that was treated by incision, drainage and oral antibiotics without any culture report. He recovered well and remained afebrile for about 1 month. Then fever again developed with high grade quotidian and has been persistent since then. He also noticed marked appetite lost, altered bowel habit with occasional vomiting and lost about 15kg body weight in last 3 months. Due to illness, he shifted his job from the field to desk work and leave office for last 2 months. On query, he noticed chronic mild dry cough but denied any respiratory distress, chest pain, jaundice, urinary complaints or any close contact with TB patient.

    Case Report

    Melioidosis Mimicking Tuberculosis in an Endemic Zone Prabhasish Adhikary1, Shahjada Selim2, Nazim Uddin1, Sajalendu Biswas1, Ariful Basher3, Hassan Mahmoud1, Md. Abdullah Yusuf4, Hafez Mohammad Nazmul Ahsan1, Syed Ghulam Mogni Mowla1 and Ridwanur Rahman5 1Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital, Bangladesh 2Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Bangladesh 3Mymensingh Medical College Hsopital, Mymensingh, Bangladesh 4National Institute of Neurosciences, Bangladesh 5Department of Medicine, Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College, Bangladesh

    Article Information

    Received date: Jul 13, 2016 Accepted date: Oct 14, 2016 Published date: Oct 18, 2016

    *Corresponding author

    Ariful Basher, (Infectious & Tropical Diseases), Mymensingh Medical College Hospital. Mymensingh, Bangladesh; Email:

    Distributed under Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0

    Keywords Melioidosis; Tuberculosis; B.pseudomallei

    Abbreviations AFB: Acid-Fast Bacilli; TB: Tuberculosis; BMI: Body Mass Input; TC: Total Count; IgM: Immunoglobulin M; ELISA: Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay; B.pseudomallei: Burkholderia pseudomallei; ESR: Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate Test; USG: Ultrasound Sonography; SGPT: Serum Glutamic-Pyruvic Transaminase; SGOT: Serum Glutamic Oxaloacetic Transaminase; PCR: Polymerase Chain Reaction


    Background: Melioidosis is not widely recognized in Bangladesh which is evident from the paucity of published reports on melioidosis from this region. Here, we summarize the clinical presentation, laboratory results, prevention and control policies and make important recommendations for patient management.

    Case Presentation: A 35-years-old diabetic male forest officer from Gazipur Sadar located north-west of Dhaka city got admitted to Shaheed Suhrawardy Medical College Hospital, Dhaka with history of recurrent fever for last 1 year. Initially the fever was high grade (up to 1050F), intermittent nature and lasted for a few days to week. About five months back, the patient developed a parietal abscess over the left lumber region and was treated surgically accordingly. The patient then gradually recovered and remained afebrile for about one month. Fever again recurred, high grade, quotidian in nature and has been persistent for the last 3 months. The patient had also developed marked loss of appetite, altered bowel habit with occasional vomiting and lost about 15kg of his body weight. The patient noticed profuse watery diarrhea for last 2 days and got himself admitted. On examination, the patient was found wasted, conscious but slow mentation, dehydrated and moderately anaemic. His pulse was 116/min, blood pressure 80/60 mm Hg, respiration 24/min and oral temperature was 1030F but no palpable lymph nodes. The patient had moderate hepato-splenomegaly with left sided pleural effusion and bilateral depressed ankle jerks. B.pseudomallei was isolated and identified by blood and urine culture as well as with serological test.

    Conclusion: We should be more alert among the diabetic patients who are presented with fever with high ESR and neutrophilic leucocytosis, even if radiography or cytopathology is indicative of tuberculosis.

  • Citation: Adhikary P, Selim S, Uddin N, Biswas S, Basher A, Mahmoud H, et al. Melioidosis Mimicking Tuberculosis in an Endemic Zone. SM Journal of Infect Dis. 2016; 1(1): 1002.

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    Gr upSM Copyright  Basher A

    He has been diabetic for 8 years and reports good control with oral drugs. For the last 2 days prior to hospitalization he developed watery diarrhea, about15 to 20 times per day without abdominal colic or visible blood. He became severely prostrated and got admitted for better management. There was no history of dental procedure, sore throat, gum bleeding or bone pain, pruritus or nodular swelling at any part of the body. He was treated with parenteral Ceftriaxone (1gram) twice daily and oral Clindamycin (300mg) thrice daily for 14 days. He was also empirically treated with anti-malarial drugs (Tab. Quinine & Tab. Co-artem). He had been a forest officer working in the forests of Sylhet (6 years) and Khulna (1 year) before the last posting at Gazipur for last 2 years. On Examination, he was ill looking and apathetic. The patient was underweight (BMI 17.14), malnourished and moderately anaemic. Pulse (116 beats/ min) was regular but low volume; however, blood pressure (80/60 mm of Hg) was also low and temperature (1030F) was high. Liver was palpable which was firm, smooth non-tender and was about 4 cm from right sub-costal margin with rounded inferior border. Spleen was also palpable, about 3cm from left sub-costal margin along its long axis with rounded margin, firm consistency and non-tender smooth surface. Bowel sound was increased with no hepatic bruit or splenic rub. Breath sound is diminished from left 6th intercostals space with no added sound. Examination of other systems was revealed no abnormalities. Routine blood was done and found a high ESR (70mm in 1st hour); with a low haemoglobin (10.2gm/dL), leukocytosis (TC 11,900/cmm) and neutrophilia (Neutrophils 77.0%). Peripheral blood film was shown polymorphonuclear leukocytosis. Fasting blood sugar (14.5mmol/L) was high. Liver function test revealed normal serum bilirubin (0.4mg/ dL), raised SGPT (61U/L) and SGOT (85U/L); however, serum total protein (59gm/L) and serum albumin (30gm/L) were normal. Serum electrolytes were found normal (Na+: 133mmol/L; K+: 4.5mmol/L; Cl- 92mmol/L). Kidney function test was also normal (blood urea 35mg/ dL; serum creatinine 1.1mg/dL). Ultrasonography of whole abdomen showed abscess or haematoma at lumbar region with splenic space occupying lesions. Chest X-ray P/A view showed consolidation with pleural effusion on left lung. PCR of blood showed MTB-DNA- negative.

    Isolation & Identification of B.pseudomallei Urine and blood specimens were collected for the isolation and

    identification of Burkholderia pseudomallei. Culture of urine was performed in the MacConkey’s agar media after incubation for 24h at 370C and was produced pink color colony as because it is not lactose fermenter [9]. The blood was cultured on blood agar media with lytic centrifugation method which had produced tiny colony with crenated margin [9]. Gram staining was performed to see the morphology of the bacteria after taking from colony growth and had shown Gram negative rod with safety pin shaped bacteria [10]. Colony in Nutrient agar media was colorless and no pyocyanin pigment had been produced [11]. Oxidase tests were performed by spreading a linear smear from the single colony taken from MacConkey’s agar media on filter paper impregnated with Oxidase reagent (Difco Laboratories, Michigan, USA) and a strong purple reaction was produced in the paper within 10 second [12]. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was used as a positive control. Gentamicin susceptibilities were determined by demonstration of a zone of inhibition around a 10μg disk (Oxoid, Heidelberg, Australia) and were found resistant [13]. Further investigation was done